There are both advantages and disadvantages to an uncontested divorce. So what are the pros and cons?
Advantages of Uncontested Divorces
- Less Costly
- No Fight
The best things about an uncontested divorce is that you can move on with your life quickly, with the least amount of fuss and expense. If there is nothing to fight about, an uncontested divorce can be completed quickly and at little cost. There are forms and legal technicalities, but a lot less to worry about compared to a contested divorce.
Disadvantages of an Uncontested Divorce
However, an uncontested divorce is not for everyone and you should be very careful before proceeding. Getting a divorce without properly dealing with other issues such as property division or support can be a false economy and end up costing you a lot more in the long run. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are willing to forego thousands of dollars in spousal or child support just for the sake of saving some money and not pursuing these rights in court. The end cost to them ends up being significantly more than if they had invested in competent legal representation.
The important thing to remember is that a divorce can fundamentally change the rights and obligations between ex-spouses, and can have unintended consequences. For example, under Manitoba family law, your right to a division family property is terminated if you have not made an application to divide your assets within 90 days of your divorce being granted. I have seen cases were people obtained an uncontested divorce and did not deal with their assets, and ended up losing tens of thousands of dollars as a result of losing their claim to a family property equalization payment. Even a small investment in consulting a lawyer on their situation would have saved them from this disaster.
The other thing to keep in mind is that an uncontested divorce may not be right for you if you need to assert your legal rights and claims. You should not let your desire to get along or to avoid conflict cost you legitimate claims to child or spousal support. Sometimes the only way that you can get what you are entitled to is by going to court and this may mean that a contested court proceeding is a better option. You will need to do a cost benefit analysis, preferably after consulting with your lawyer and reviewing all of the relevant facts with them. We do offer this service and are able to provide confidential legal consultations by phone or zoom for a flat fee. To enquire or to set up a consultation appointment, please use our contact form.
The other thing to remember is that it is not always up to you. You may just want a divorce but the other side may make claims against you and so you may have no choice but to litigate.